Jan 072013

Hello everyone! Apologies in advance for the shortness of today’s entry, but we’re hard at work here in the Geopark Promotion Office improving the English website!

We recently redesigned the English website to make it a little easier to navigate, but even the best designed website is useless if it doesn’t provide any helpful information. With that in mind, we are working to improve the English language website by providing more information about our 24 geosites including photographs, maps, and up-to-date access information.

Keep visiting us to learn more about the exciting ways we are working to globalize here at the Itoigawa Global Geopark !


Jan 042013

  It’s January 4th, our first day back in the office now after entering the Year of the Snake. I hope you all had a warm New Year’s celebration with friends and family.

  I spent mine visiting Itoigawa’s main shrine, Amatsu Shrine for hatsumoude.

Amatsu Shrine in Central Itoigawa

Amatsu Shrine in Central Itoigawa

  Hatsumoude translates literally to ‘first pilgrimage.’ It is the Japanese tradition of visiting a shrine or temple during the New Year’s celebration to pray for health and good fortune. Despite its small population, Itoigawa has many shrines and temples which people visit for their first pilgrimage of the New Year. Amatsu Shrine, located near Itoigawa Station and Itoigawa City Hall, is probably one of the most popular shrines in the Itoigawa area.

Visitors to Amatsu Shrine purchase protective charms and talismans

Visitors to Amatsu Shrine purchase protective charms and talismans

An important part of hatsumoude for many Japanese is the purchase of good luck charms and protective talismans. From small satchel-like charms to large goshinya or ‘god arrows’, these objects are said to protect the owner from ill fortune and bring good fortune and health.

Visitors buy snacks from kiosks at Amatsu Shrine

Visitors buy snacks from kiosks at Amatsu Shrine

For many an equally (if not more!) important part of the hatsumoude experience are these kiosks which sell various snack foods from takoyaki (octopus dumplings) to crepes. It’s certainly my favorite part!

However you celebrated your New Year’s, all of us here at the Itoigawa Global Geopark wish you the best of health and fortune in 2013 and look forward to seeing you soon!



Dec 262012

Today, our office was given the opportunity to meet with visitors from the Japanese Geoparks Network and San’in Kaigan Geopark. At this meeting we discussed ways in which the Itoigawa Global Geopark can improve and develop its role within the Global Network of National Geoparks. It was certainly an interesting meeting.

 We discussed the Itoigawa Global Geopark’s need for more presence within the Global Geopark Network. We are working on increasing our English-language materials and publications as well as training local guides in providing English guidance. However, we must also determine where we fit within the framework of the Global Geopark Network. How can we use our experiences and our resources to further the Geopark movement on an international level?

We will consider this carefully as we work toward improving our Geopark in the coming year.


Dec 252012

Merry Christmas from the Itoigawa Global Geopark! I hope you are all having a wonderful Christmas with family and friends as we draw ever closer the New Year!

Over the weekend we’ve received more snow and ice. During this season many of the park’s geosites become inaccessible, but that does not mean there’s nothing left to do here in Itoigawa!

This past Saturday (Dec 22), local ski resort Itoigawa Seaside Valley opened its slopes for the 2013 skiing season. Many visitors, beginners and seasoned veterans alike, made use of the recent three-day weekend to hit the slopes at this charming resort tucked away in Itoigawa’s Nechi Valley. As the name suggests, the view of the Sea of Japan from this resort’s slopes is one not to miss!

Whether you prefer skiing or snowboarding or even just relaxing in the hot spring bath at Hotel White Cliff after a nice meal, if you plan to visit Itoigawa this winter, be sure to include Itoigawa Seaside Valley in your itinerary!




Photograph of Seaside Valley Slope (taken during previous season)


http://www.seasidevalley.com/ (Japanese-only)

Dec 212012

Hajimemashite! Nice to meet you!

Yokoso and welcome to the Itoigawa Global Geopark’s new English language blog! To be totally honest with you, I don’t have much experience with writing blogs, but I’m going to give it my best shot.

Through this blog I want to share the latest information about events and activities going on throughout Itoigawa and its geopark. More (or perhaps less!?) importantly, I want to write about my own experiences and discoveries here in Itoigawa, a city as rich in culture and history as it is in natural beauty.

As for today, I’m fighting a cold and looking forward to a weekend of rest with lots of tea and soup.

It’s cold outside so bundle up and take care!


 Posted by at 8:11 PM